Soldiers National Monument

The Soldiers National Monument.

Soldiers National Monument in the National Cemetery. Gettysburg February 2012  StarX.  Gettysburg  Gettysburg Monument

Dedicated: July 1, 1869.

Location: Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

Description: Monument consists of five allegorical figures on a center column structure and a star-shaped base. It contains a sixty-foot-high granite pedestal set on a twenty-five-foot-square stone base. Liberty stands atop the column, a female figure in Classical robes holding a laurel wreath in her proper right hand and a sword in her proper left hand. Eighteen bronze stars, one for each state whose citizens fought in the Union army, encircle the upper portion of the column. The four remaining figures are seated at the base of the column. They personify War, History, Peace and Plenty. War is a bearded, uniformed Civil War Soldier. History is a female figure in Classical robes, a garland around her head and a book in her lap. She records the achievements of the battle and the names of the honored dead. Peace is an American mechanic in work clothes holding a mallet in his proper right hand and a cogwheel at his feet. Plenty is a female figure with fruits of the earth and abundance as the soldier’s crowning triumph and a sheaf of wheat. A bronze eagle in relief appears on the front center of the column. Relief items relevant to each figure appear on their respective chairs. Commissioned under the auspices of the Gettysburg National Cemetery Association, this was the first monument erected in the battlefield. This monument is the only memorial in the cemetery to be erected as part of Saunders’ plan. It is a central focal point on the high ground from which the semicircular rows of graves radiate. The monument was meant to tell a story of peace and plenty under freedom and the blessings of liberty following a heroic struggle.